You can't sell a car that you've leased

q_v2.gifI am leasing a Honda Civic. I have a three-year lease, and I have had the car for only six months. Can I sell the car?
-- Ileana

a_v2.gifSorry, but no way. The way leasing works is, it's more like you're renting your car by the month. The title is never in your name. You never own it, therefore you can't sell it.

You can contact the leasing company on your contract or listed on your monthly statement, and they can tell you what it would cost to get out of your lease. It's probably going to be a lot. Leases are geared for you to keep the car until the end of the lease.

The dealership must not have done a very good job of explaining what you were getting into when you signed the lease. If you really thought you were buying the car, and it turns out you were actually leasing it, that's another issue.

If you think somebody misled you on purpose, the first step is to complain in writing to the dealership that leased you the car. It may seem like a waste of time. But even if they turn you down, you will need a written record before taking additional steps like complaining to the leasing company.

ding whether to take on a new lease at a higher cost. Gary Dilts, J.D. Power senior vice president, says about 1.4 million leases will expire this year. Many of those buyers will switch to loans for new or used cars, he said.

"Right now, it looks like they're coming out of leases," Dilts says.

Here are this week's reader questions:
  • Leasing companies bumping monthly payments
  • Do I have to pay off my old car, before I can buy a new one?
  • Can I sell my leased car?



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